COLLINGSWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Pastor David King is doing something all too familiar. On Saturday, the 65-year-old pastor was filing police reports after another church burglary.
He would rather be writing his Thanksgiving sermon, but instead is cleaning up the destruction left behind by someone who broke in and stole expensive electronics and an old coffee pot. King estimates the damage is in the thousands.
"It takes a lot of nerve, first of all, to come into a house of God just with the thought of robbing. And then, to take something that makes it even worse for their psyche and their mind because they have to live with that," King said.
King was the pastor of Community Baptist Church, in Camden, New Jersey, on Mt. Ephraim Avenue, and lauded as a part of helping the poorest in the Camden Community. His work was even hilighted in a 20/20 episode with Diane Sawyer.
But by 2017, his congregation became the victim of five burglaries. Then, a property on Collings Avenue in Collingswood became available.
"God has blessed us, not putting Mt. Ephraim down, but God has blessed us with a new area new church new area," King said.
King and the congregation moved to Collingswood and changed the church's name to New Community Baptist Church of Collingswood. They celebrated two years in the space in October.
King says they have had a rough time keeping the lights on and right now he is working to repair the heating system. Even with all those challenges, he has a surprising message for the people responsible.
"And listen, by all means if you bring it (the stolen items) back we will not be upset because I have a lot of information I really need on that computer. We will pray for you and set you down and treat you with love," he said.
Collingswood church burglarized, thousands of dollars in electronics stolen